With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine potentially leading to a global shortage of crude oil, the IEA has proposed at 10-point plan of practical measures that could be taken by individuals and governments in developed economies to markedly cut oil consumption in a matter of months.
Sanctions imposed against Russia, one of the world’s biggest oil producers, have raised questions about how to replace Russian oil and gas with that from other sources. While some oil majors like ExxonMobil and Chevron, the makers of the Mobil and Texaco lubricant ranges, have indicated future increases in their US production, it remains unclear if the world has sufficient spare production capacity at the moment.
The IEA has therefore suggested a series of relatively painless, short-term measures to address demand in addition to supply. For example, a 10 km/hr reduction in motorway speed limits could reduce the oil consumption due to cars by 290 kilobarrels per day (kb/d) and trucks by 140 kb/d. Other measures include Sundays becoming car-free in cities, more carpooling and home-working, and avoiding business air travel when meetings could be conducted otherwise.
Fatih Birol, the IEA’s Executive Director, said at a news conference to launch the plan:
“IEA Member Countries have already stepped in to support the global economy with an initial release of millions of barrels of emergency oil stocks, but we can also take action on demand to avoid the risk of a crippling oil crunch.”
He added that the IEA’s plan demonstrated that this could be achieved through tried-and-tested measures.